Early Threats for NFL MVP
The first two weeks of the NFL season have been chaotic. When you look at the Week 2 results and compare them to Week 1, there is very little consistency in teams’ performances, and there have been numerous shocking results. So, who has shined the brightest amidst all this chaos? Here are a few players who have already begun staking their claim for the NFL’s 2021 MVP award.
Tom Brady, Quarterback, Buccaneers
By now, we’ve all become accustomed to Tom Brady’s greatness. He continues to prove himself to be one of the best players in football well into his mid-40s. And it seems as if Brady is about to defy father time once again in 2021.
While Brady had an extremely productive 2020 debut season in Tampa throwing for 40 touchdowns, signs indicate he is about to have an even more productive second year with the Bucs.
Brady is off to a 2-0 start to this season, and he has already thrown nine touchdowns in impressive wins over the Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons.
With a formidable group of receivers in Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, a rejuvenated Antonio Brown and longtime tight end Rob Gronkowski at his disposal, Brady arguably has as great an offense as ever.
This elite ensemble of targets could be the key to Brady landing his fourth career MVP award.
Derek Carr, Quarterback, Raiders
Derek Carr, MVP candidate? Sure, it might not last the rest of the season, but for now it looks like a very real possibility.
Coming into the year, the Raiders were mostly written off as background noise in the AFC West. However, after a pair of big wins to start the season, both Carr and Vegas are proving doubters wrong.
Carr is off to a red-hot start, as he leads the NFL in passing yards through two games with 817. He has also thrown for 4 touchdowns and currently holds a career high QBR of 104.1.
While Carr is unlikely to sustain such an elite level of play, there’s reason to believe he can at least remain steady enough for the Raiders to cement themselves as playoff contenders. A wide array of versatile offensive weapons will certainly help Carr’s case as well.
Kyler Murray, Quarterback, Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals’ offense is off to a scorching start to the season, and that is almost exclusively because of Kyler Murray’s phenomenal play.
Murray has already accumulated nine total touchdowns this season (seven passing, two rushing), helping the Cardinals embarrass the Tennessee Titans and edge the Minnesota Vikings.
Murray’s ability as a dual threat quarterback is what makes him stand out as a potentially transcendent player in Arizona, and he should only continue to thrive in 2021.
With an elite target in DeAndre Hopkins, as well as speedsters Christian Kirk and Rondale Moore to throw to, Murray should comfortably remain in the MVP discussion throughout the season.
Cooper Kupp, Wide Receiver, Rams
While there is a good chance that Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford finishes the year as an MVP candidate in his own right, for now his top target Cooper Kupp is the one in that discussion.
Kupp has elevated his play so far this season, catching 16 passes for a staggering 271 yards along with three touchdown passes. He was particularly impressive against the Colts in Week 2, catching 9 passes for 163 yards.
Kupp and Stafford have proven that they have a special connection brewing in LA, and should Kupp continue to produce at such a rate, he could cement himself as one of the NFL’s best wide receivers. The Rams will be counting on him as they hope to return to the Super Bowl this season.
Joe Tuman is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.